NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Evan Roosevelt Brown has HOPE. It has taken in him to places he never dreamt of.
So, he is lending his face and voice to help more than 100,000 Tennessee students each year get that same sweet taste of HOPE.
Brown, a native of Nashville, is a TV spokesperson for the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation, which funds the Tennessee HOPE Scholarship. The corporation is celebrating its 10th year. During that time the Lottery has raised nearly $3 billion.
And Brown, who is the contract compliance coordinator at the Lottery, has all the right tools to get the corporation’s message across. He is savvy, has nice looks with great intellect, but more than that, he has the message that it pays to get an excellent education with hard work, and the HOPE Scholarship is the way.
After all, the 2009 Tennessee State University business administration graduate with a concentration in economics and finance knows what it means to work hard. It took focus like “keeping my nose to the grind” and maintaining decent grades during his college career to get him to where he is.
“Growing up in my home I had no choice but to work hard and move up,” said Brown, whose parents are all college graduates in successful careers. “My brother and sister, who are graduates of TSU, got a full ride in college. But with me not getting that, the HOPE Scholarship made it easy on my parents not to bear that cost.”
So when the opportunity came up to be the spokesperson for the program that helped him through college, Brown jumped on it.
“This is a chance to help other people get what I got,” said Brown. “Being the face of the state’s education lottery program and people seeing me is an encouragement to give back and inspire others.”
Brown knows that his new “gig,” as he calls it, comes with a certain level of notoriety, but he says the part of the “job” that encourages him the most is being able to motivate “young people” to seek excellence.
He has been with the Lottery for seven years, two as an intern, starting when he was a student at TSU. His career growth at the corporation in five years as a full-time staff has been remarkable, something he calls a blessing.
“I have moved from being an intern to being the contract compliance coordinator, which includes project management, procurement services, business development, and records retention,” Brown said in a suave but very humble tone. “I started as an intern in the finance department, to the contract department handling inside sales, then credit analyst before my current position.”
About how he was selected to be the face of the Lottery with commercial spots running on YouTube and TV along with radio stations throughout the state, Brown said it all started with a conversation between him, the president, and the vice president and legal counsel of the corporation when they asked him to appear in the advertisement to mark the 10th anniversary of the Lottery.
“I think because I had been there a long time and because of the level of relationship I had with them and my advancement in the corporation prompted them to consider me,” Brown added.
His spot is one of three commercials running on stations around the state to highlight the success of the Lottery’s education program.
Brown, who earned an MBA in 2012 from Trevecca Nazarene University, touts his undergraduate preparation at TSU as the foundation to his success. He minces no word to talk about “my TSU” whenever the opportunity comes up.
“Go Big Blue, I am a Tennessee HOPE scholar and a proud graduate of Tennessee State University,” Brown says in his commercial as he pitches the Lottery.
For him, it is all about HOPE.
Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
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About Tennessee State University
With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.